- Social media stocks rally after upbeat results
- AmEx jumps on blowout Q2 profit
- Intel sales forecast implies rocky second half
- Indexes up: Dow 0.51%, S&P 0.77%, Nasdaq 0.80%
July 23 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes hit record highs on Friday and were on track to end the week with gains, helped by megacap growth stocks and strong earnings from social media companies, while a weak forecast from Intel hit chipmakers.
Strong results from the social media firms set a positive precedent for Facebook Inc (FB.O), which jumped 6.7%.
The major indexes were set for their fourth weekly gain in five weeks on a boost from positive earnings reports, while the Nasdaq 100 index (.NDX) breached 15,000 points for the first time.
"The tech earnings will be phenomenal ... I'm not sure that they're going to be market leaders, they will be earnings leaders," said George Ball, chairman at Sanders Morris Harris in Houston, Texas.
"The key is, what happens next. You're going to be comparing to a higher base than previously and in the third and fourth quarters, we'll be looking backward to a largely post-COVID level of earnings, and so the increases will not be as large."
The second-quarter earnings season barreled ahead, with 120 companies in the S&P 500 having reported numbers so far. Of those, 88.3% have beaten consensus estimates, according to Refinitiv data.
Wall Street investors have shifted between growth stocks and economically sensitive value shares this week, after concerns about the spread of the Delta coronavirus variant roiled markets and sparked a flight to the perceived safety of bond markets on Monday.
Meanwhile, data from IHS Markit showed business activity grew at a moderate pace for a second straight month in July amid supply constraints. read more
The Federal Reserve's policy meeting next week will be closely watched for further hints about tapering amid a spike in COVID-19 cases, though Chair Jerome Powell has repeatedly said the labor market remains well short of its target. read more
At 11:59 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) was up 176.87 points, or 0.51%, at 35,000.22, the S&P 500 (.SPX) was up 33.53 points, or 0.77%, at 4,401.01 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) was up 117.09 points, or 0.80%, at 14,801.69.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.26-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.28-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 73 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 74 new highs and 119 new lows.
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